Nice. This issue of Bang! is a fun, clever, action-packed dissection and alteration of another hero from the pantheon of modern-day, box-office monoliths. The first issue turned the myth of the famed 007 on its head. Now, we enter the realm of one of my favorite actioneers: Die Hard. It took me two panels to figure out that this was going to be Matt Kindt’s take on the wearied, over-worked Detective John McClane who always seems to be caught in the midst of some kind of hostage situation. Kindt injects a fun twist into the McClane mythology that I’ll let you discover on your own, but I have to say: Giving a reason as to why he’s barefoot all the time is priceless.
There are a few major threads that obviously tie this issue with the first one, building to Kindt-knows-where, but based on previous zig-zagging stories of his, it’s going somewhere pretty satisfying. What am I saying? It’s already freaking satisfying!
Bang! isn’t just thoughtful and clever, it’s a pure dose of fun. It’s the best and purest form of what we remember from the stories that we love while at the same time treating them as pieces to a much larger puzzle. Look how #StoriesMatter. The things that have inspired Matt Kindt – stories that he loves – have inspired something unique and wonderful for others to enjoy. To read John Shaw say to himself, “All right, John, think.” You hear Willis’ frustrated voice, and it’s just short of euphoric. Only Kindt would have the nerve to write this story and the talent to pull it off without it feeling ham-fisted.
Wilfredo Torres right now has a dream job, getting to dive headfirst into drawing stories for some of the greatest action heroes from the past couple of generations. He has studied the film, using dutched angles in all of the right places. (Yes, I’ve watched Die Hard… a lot.) This is a really well thought out series, which brings me to the design team. Matt Kindt always incorporates design elements into his work that play outside of the confines of the comic itself and also speak to the overall narrative. Here, he starts and closes each issue with pages from a book by an author called Verve who seems to be the one that has tied all of the characters together through the writing of his books. We get glimpses of these books which also fill us in on different elements of the characters we’re following. Anita Magaña and Ann Gray are doing a bang-up job with their design efforts. It’s all there to create a superior experience, and, so far, it’s working.
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (story), Wilfredo Torres (art), Nayoung Kim (colors), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters), Anita Magaña (design), Ann Gray (digital technical art), Daniel Chabon (editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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